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Million Dollar Bash: Bob Dylan, the Band, and the Basement Tapes
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Million Dollar Bash: Bob Dylan, the Band, and the Basement Tapes

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  127 Ratings  ·  15 Reviews
(Book). Million Dollar Bash tells for the first time the whole story of the Basement Tapes, recorded in summer 1967 when Bob Dylan's career was at a crossroads. Recovering from a mysterious motorcycle crash, he gathered together a few musician friends in Woodstock, New York, and informally recorded a bunch of songs intended to be heard by no one but themselves. Instead, th ...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published September 1st 2007 by Jawbone Press
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Paul Bryant
Mar 02, 2015 Paul Bryant rated it liked it
Shelves: bob-dylan
Bob Dylan is probably only of interest to middle aged white guys so if you’re not in that demographic, move right along, nothing to see here.

When I look at the music book section in the big ass bookshops I go to there’s always 50 books on Dylan, 30 on the Beatles and one each on everyone else. This probably means that only middle aged white guys read music books. Also, that only middle aged white guys write music books.

This is my music bookcase:

There's ab
Aug 28, 2014 Justin rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: music fans
Highly enjoyable, although somewhat lightweight. The bulk of the book is a song-by-song analysis where Griffin, through a complex process, makes educated guesses as to who played which instrument on which track (this is harder than it sounds, especially to someone unfamiliar with The Band). This information is interesting, but at the end of the day, does it matter if Dylan or Manuel played piano on (insert title here).

The more interesting part, for me at least, was the discussions of how the pro
Oct 16, 2008 Matt rated it really liked it
This is a frustratingly-written book. BUT, it is full of great information, it's always fun to read about the Basement Tapes. There is a ton of hypothetical information, including an entire chapter about what "might" have happened when Dylan got in his motorcycle crash (angle of the sun, type of skid his bike would have made on the road, etc), and even though it seems so stupid, it's really fun to engage with this kind of crap if you already know something about it. But almost entirely useless u ...more
Feb 13, 2009 Gary rated it really liked it
Great rapid fire read. I learned a lot about the time of the motorcycle accident (which is still a mystery), and it is told in an interesting way. I would say it is information dense, which is a good thing, you won't be bored. Especially if you don't know much about the details of the Basement Tapes. I was in that category. Being a fan for all these years it is one recording I never listened too.
I'm thankful to the book for getting me to listen. What a treat and revelation it was. This book just
Todd Stockslager
Jun 05, 2015 Todd Stockslager rated it really liked it
Shelves: pop-culture
Navel-gazing homage to the master. Griffin provides brief historical setting for the Basement Tapes, no more is needed because everyone who will approach this book is likely to know the basic bones of the story-meteoric folk career deflected by plugged-in mayhem with various backing groups, settling on the Hawks for the amphetamine- and electro-angst-driven '66 British tour, then the motorcycle crash while drying out and decompressing in bucolic Woodstock.

Then Griffin gets serious, documenting (
Stephen Griffith
Jan 25, 2016 Stephen Griffith rated it really liked it
Let me get the negative things out first. This was written (and updated) before the Sony robber barons brought out their six disc "complete" Basement Tapes collection (at a huge price considering they absorbed no production studio costs for this other than subsidizing the musicians who became The Band while working with Dylan) and this makes it clear that Sony left some stuff out. So Griffin got hold of everything somehow and it's very frustrating trying to find songs which aren't there. This is ...more
Aug 31, 2014 Steve rated it really liked it
I've had this one on the self for several years and never read it. Since we're going to get an official release of this marvelous music, I've been listening to A Tree With Roots a lot, and sat down with this book. It does an excellent job of telling the story of the music's recording, and as many details as were available when it was written. It's fun to go through these songs one at a time, and Griffin is really detailed in his descriptions. It'll be interesting to see how the music changes whe ...more
Dec 05, 2014 Lauren rated it liked it
I read this because I splurged and bought myself The complete Basement Tapes and wanted to read along as I listened. Nergasmic. The prose is woolly, though sometimes very very funny but the individual song entries are interesting and I liked Griffin's ideas about the impact the tapes made on other artists.

His heart is definitely in the right place.
Doris Raines
Mar 29, 2016 Doris Raines rated it really liked it
A. Fantastic. Story.
Steve Gillway
Feb 10, 2015 Steve Gillway rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: musicians, nostalgia
A very well-researched piece of work, written with a real love of the subject. It is amazing that something back in 1967 can still tweak the interest. Dylan is unforthcoming in a truly magnificent way, a riposte to the all knowing times of today.
Sep 11, 2008 Dan rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Bob Dylan fanatics
Interesting topic, dull book. I would have liked more real information (not conjecture) about what Dylan's life was like during his convalescence in 1967.
Nov 08, 2007 Kaya rated it it was ok
Every time I think about seeing I'm Not There, I pee a little. This book is pretty much the opposite of that feeling.
Mar 05, 2008 Jeff is currently reading it
So far, so awesome. Cant put this book down. Sid Griffin is detailed, but not academic and a great story teller.
Feb 15, 2008 Russell marked it as to-read
I was given this by a rep at Mountains & Plains. It's one of an ever growing pile...
Mar 07, 2009 Hugh rated it liked it
Not a whole bunch of new info but still pretty good.
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